08 July 2008

Quick Interjection on Inner-Directedness

It has occurred to me that the Dimitri Diatribe Discussion, rather than being a digression from the theme of Inner-Directedness as an Antidote to Groupthink, demonstrates how inner-directedness is an antidote to any abuser's attempts to hoodwink their prey.

Dimitri was very obviously trying to 'put one over' on Olga, at the outset; groupthink gurus, such as Pica and Aranna in the earlier case studies, try to 'put one over' on entire groups of people. But the game is played quite similarly in both cases. Approval, and other goodies, are offered with one hand; threats and ultimata, however, are not far away, and this is made clear, one way or another.

Strongly other-directed individuals will find themselves terribly torn in situations like this - even obvious ones - and prone to repeated painful encounters with abusive persons and groups, because to be other-directed means that one's worth is largely invested in pleasing others and obtaining their approval, singly or collectively; this programming is very hard to overcome.

Inner-directedness, on the other hand, while it respects the 'other', respects the 'other' as another 'self'. To 'love thy neighbor as thyself', you must, as prerequisite, love yourself. And trust your own judgement; and know your own values; and have formed those values with thoughtfulness and contemplation, rather than simply receiving and accepting them at the hands of - others. When your values are truly yours, when they are internalized, you can hold to them even when they are mocked and derided, even when you are likewise mocked and derided for holding them.

Inner-directedness is the quality that keeps you valuing your right to be treated decently more than the prospect of getting a self-described 'complete catch' to call you back. That same quality will keep you valuing your right to think for yourself more than the prospect of being admitted to the 'inner circle' of a bully's clique.

In other words, when you are inner-directed, you're not willing to trade your integrity - or, as I prefer to think of it, shortsell your soul - for the approval of a man, a group, or a 'guru'. You can stand separate from them, and see.


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